Dion Waiters is a Thunder now. Dion Waiters is Thunder now? He's a Thunderclap? Thunderman? Whatever. Anyway, he had to pick a jersey number, but his No. 3 from Syracuse and the Cavs was taken, so things got weird. Via NewsOK:
Why you wearing 23?
They didn't have any numbers. I wanted 3, I wanted 1. They didn't have that. So I said, OK, I'm gonna take 13 because I wanted 1, they didn't have 1. Then 13, they didn't want me to wear 13. 23, I didn't want to wear 23. My favorite number is 3. They just gave me 23.
You remember who wore 13?
Yeah, James (Harden). So they didn't want me to wear 13. Guess they wanted me to have my own identity. We gonna make 23 look good though.
Okay, several things are weird about this:
1. Perry Jones wears 3, so that was out of the question. 1 is retired because Gus Williams was a great Sonics player, which remains odd.
2. Waiters' idea of forming his "own identity" is wearing perhaps the most meaningful number in NBA history, so associated with the league's most iconic player* that teams besides his own have retired it!
3. Are the Thunder really protecting 13 because of James Harden? Why? Is it because they're worried OKC fans will think the new shooting guard off the bench is Harden sans beard? Is it because they've already decided to retire it someday? Or is it just a matter of vibes? Maybe that number just brings back unpleasant memories of the team that once was. (Potentially related: Steven Adams wore 13 in college and in New Zealand, but now wears 12...)
Anyway, welcome to OKC, Dion. Get out there and become the greatest number 23 of all time!